|An art performance from the opening ceremony of the National Tourism Year of the Red River Delta region 2013 in the northern port city of Hai Phong. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
HAI PHONG (VNS)— The northern port city of Hai Phong celebrated the second Red Flamboyant Festival on Saturday with music, dancing and floral displays to mark the beginning of Culture – Sports – Tourism Week.
The event is one of the highlights of the 2013 National Tourism Year of the Red River Delta and Hai Phong.
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the tourism year offers the region a chance to make tourism a key economic sector for national socio-economic development.
Dung said ministries and departments are working on a general tourism development strategy and master plan until 2020 with a vision to 2030 to boost the sector in a professional, sustainable and modern manner, in line with national cultural values, environmental protection and social safety and order.
From now until 2020, the domestic tourism sector is targeting annual growth of around 12 percent and hopes to welcome over 10 million foreign tourists and some 50 million domestic visitors to the region, generating US$18 billion in revenue and creating three million jobs. This figure is equivalent to seven per cent of the country's gross domestic product, Dung said.
To realise these goals, Dung called on the area to tap into its inherent advantages as a tourist destination, including its history, culture and landscapes. He said that the UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites should be a particular draw for tourists. The PM wants the Ha Noi – Hai Phong – Quang Ninh development triangle and the Red River Delta region to become the country's culture and tourism hub.
Dung called on the tourism sector to offer diverse and unique experiences imbued with local culture to visitors in order to build a highly competitive tourism brand and facilitate investment.
On top of this, Dung encouraged every visitor to contribute towards a civilised, friendly and sustainable environment while making the most of Viet Nam's famous hospitality.
He asked centrally governed ministries and departments to work with regional authorities to clear obstacles facing tourism development, generate more jobs, reduce poverty and provide the region with a facelift.
In recent years, international and domestic arrivals in the region have jumped 13.2 per cent and 14.3 per cent per year respectively. Last year's revenues hit VND40 trillion ($1.9 billion).
Within the Red River Delta, Hai Phong holds many distinctive cultural values from ancient civilisation. It is blessed with diverse natural resources to develop sea and island tourism, notably Cat Ba island close to Ha Long Bay.
PM meets voters
Earlier the same day, PM Dung met with voters in Hai Phong to answer questions and listen to opinions.
Local voters expressed their pleasure at the achievements made by the entire Party, army and people during the national socio-economic development process.
They proposed the State continues to create policies supporting businesses, investing more in agriculture, farmers and rural areas, as well as speeding up the implementation of some infrastructure projects.
Acknowledging voters' whole-hearted ideas, PM Dung said the Government will continue strengthening measures to stabilise the macro-economy, curb inflation, remove difficulties for businesses and maintain high growth in 2013 while ensuring social welfare, security and defence.
Applauding their opinions on the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and the amended Land Law, the Government leader said these are important issues relating to the destiny of the country and lives of its people.
The Party, State and Government would hear and acquire voters' comments to build a modern and advanced Constitution that meets the country's development requirements in the new period and a new Land Law that satisfies the people's legitimate demands, the PM stressed. — VNS